Sundance Institute Moving to Park City

Sundance Institute Moving to Park City

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) -- The Sundance Institute will move its headquarters from Salt Lake City to Park City, and promises to keep the annual film festival in the ski town at least through 2018.

The City Council unanimously approved the agreement Thursday night.

Under the agreement, the city will pay the institute $220,000 a year for 10 years beginning in 2007. The Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau will increase its grant to the Sundance Institute from $50,000 to $160,000 per year during the same period.

The agreement includes an option to extend the contract forward through 2028.

Mayor Dana Williams said, "Park City has always prided itself in being a town with a certain kind of funk. The Sundance Film Festival exemplifies that funk."

The 10-day festival contributes an estimated $41 million to the local economy.

The Sundance Institute, which was founded by Robert Redford, will establish its headquarters at the Silver Star development at the mouth of Thaynes Canyon in fall 2006.

The contract had unanimous support from the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau, said board member John Rogers, who also is president of the Park City Lodging Association.

The chamber's board also voted unanimously to increase its Sundance grant, he said.

"It's been rewarding watching this come together. There is unequivocal support in the business community," he said. "We love our partnership with Sundance and want it to continue for a long, long time."

Representatives from the Park City Restaurant Association and Historic Main Street Business Alliance told the council that their members also fully supported the contract.

Jill Miller, the institute's managing director, said in a prepared statement, "We have enjoyed being part of the community for more than 20 years through the film festival and this agreement formalizes our connection with Park City on a year-round basis, and for a long time to come."

The film festival started in Salt Lake as the Utah/U.S. Film Festival in 1981, moved to Park City in 1981 and was taken over by the institute in 1986. Opening night was moved to Salt Lake City in 1991 and moved back to Park City in 2004.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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